“I shit upon the grave of every “trve”. I want to see if they ‘ll still gonna play music when they reach my age or if their daddy will have found them a job while their girlfriend would make them cut music completely off their lives”; big doses of truth from Tasos (guitars / vocals) and Giannis(vocals) of DreamLongDead in this 51% serious – 49% cynical interview!
At first, let me congratulate you on your new album; well – played Doom / Death songs that stick in your mindwith a more than decent production. But what about the title?! “Arise Howling Darkness: Of Cyclopean Masonry &Non-Euclidean Geometry”. Would you like to elaborate on that? In tape – trading era, for example, such titles were forbidden as they didn’t fit on the tape’s side.
Tasos: Thank you for your good words. Likewise with the situation on our first album, the prefix of the title consists of three words taken from the song titles. The second component of the title has to do with the evolution of our sound. The sunken cities of the Old Ones, but also all the remnants of their presence either in the outer space, or the forgotten icy plains of our planet, are described in these terms. The massive size of the masonry of these structures is mentioned in “scripture” as cyclopean, while the non-human and multi – dimensional nature of the manufacturers as well as residents of those structures, is expressed via non-Euclidean geometry. Itsurpasses the known to us physical laws and the sensors with which we are accustomed to understand the physical determinism. The symbolic connection of the title with the evolution of the sound of the band has to do with the fact that while our debut was monolithic,we now have megalithic aspirations regarding the sound, and the geometry exactly explains why our “music”, despite the fact that it mighthit familiar stimuli, is composed and orchestrated in a way that the familiar turns into disorienting bizarre.
From the time I wasfirst exposed to your music, I had the following question: What is this long – lost dream for yours? Is this band the vehicle to retrieve it?
Tasos: We’ve heard this question before regarding our name and I have to tell you that this is the wrong approach to take. This band, not only does not construe a vehicle to make our dream come true, or find something lost, as you say, but it rather exists to trample, to drown and bury in the mud any dream of a life with dignity, joy and hope . Our name has to do with the passage of the Necronomicon (Al Azif): “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”It refers to Cthulhu, who lies dead in the ruins of the sunken mega – city R’Lyeh. Dead, but dreamed of.
Tell me, what is your relationship with Godflesh, Entombed (not just musically; I counted 21 times the word in the lyrics) and Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine?
Tasos: Obviously it’s not platonic with Godflesh; since the name is “lifted” from the song title neither is with Entombed, since we keep mentioning them so stubbornly in our lyrics, as you say. Regarding ToLRtD I know it’s a project of Lee Dorrian with some other culture – lovers; I have it burned in a CD, but I think I’ve never put it to play. Oh, wait, last year , or the year before last summer, if I’m not mistaken, while we were drinking in Giannis’ balcony together with Tolis, someone put this CD to play but I remember that I got up and changed it into Bathory’s “Blood Fire Death”. Let Giannis and Tolis answer about them. They are the ones who like this kind of “avant-garde”Doom and stuff like that.
Giannis: Both in the lyrics themselves and the way we express them, there are some indirect references -something like “Easter eggs” if you like – in bands or musicians we like. It is, in a way, one of the inside jokes of DreamLongDead. Moreover, the album of Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine is a monumental doom / drone album, but beyond that, we don’t see any other relationship between them and our music.
The album opens and closes with the characteristic John’s roar. Is it a concept?
Tasos: If John’s roar is a concept? I certainly remember that the album starts with bass and ends with guitar feedback. And John’s growls are doubled by my own roars, if we want to be more accurate. However, yes, there is a theme to the album, but I wouldn’t call it a concept with the idea of a linear narrative story type: “a unicorn adopted a child and a duckling and then met the astral body of Rasputin and then they all ended up in the Middle Earth where they found their grandmother who had just come out of the asylum and was making tea.”
What inspired you to create this album? (Music, situations, people, whatever)
Tasos: Even if the themes and lyrics have to do with fantastic mythology and horror stories, the real inspiration comes from the same misfortune and misery of real life. We simply use this theme as background coverage. The same applies to the music part. Each hit, note and cry is like an anathema to rottenness of our everyday life.
In the song “Succumb to Unfathomable Darkness (Entombed with the Pharaohs)” – which I think is your top one– except for some Sabotage (Black Sabbath) elements, Ican also hear some prog / Opeth elements and solos… which seem to have arisen naturally and effortlessly. However, I feel that you don’t want to escape your standard style. Is there any commitment to a certain style?
Tasos: Let’s take the issues one by one. Thank you for your kind words regarding the song. Before handling the issue of influences / references, I have to say that this is an entirely subjective process that has to do with the sounds and musical references of each one of us. I personally never sit down to write something thinking: “let’s write a Darkthrone riff”. I like to think that most of my influences are my property, and have been filtered out unintentionally. The game of ‘distinguishing’the influences is done always much later on and always for some reason, like your question here. It’s the function of the human brain itself, which requires the creation of linear relations of causal – effect relationship between two random events. It is one of the main mechanisms for the survival of all animals. And as proof of the above, I think I understand what riff you have in mind that reminds you of Sabbath’s “Sabotage”, and basically depending on whom you ask this riff sounds like Mercyful Fate, or Randy Rhoads, or Entombed, or even Metallica! To us in some phase it sounded like something between “Five Blocks To The Subway” of Biohazard and Body Count !!! The Sabbath influence is obvious to a band like us. It’s like saying to a thrash band that reminds you of Slayer. “Elementary Mr. Watson! “. However, regarding “Sabotage” , along with “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, they are my favorite Sabbath narco-disks and have influenced us greatly on how to combine godly-heavy parts with psychedelic / acoustic releases. They have been a great school for us both for orchestration, but also for creating atmosphere and mood swings. Now for Opeth, I would lie if I told you that I don’t like them…at least to a certain degree. And rightfully,they have dominated anything that flirts with prog but comes from an extreme / underground metal background. However, in this case, Opeth are too modern to be a direct influence to us, but I have to admit that for the progressive parts of the album, it has passed through my mind that some of them tend to go a bit towards the Opeth style… but, still we have the excuse that we are kind of overly decayed. Nonetheless, we love to listen to “progressive” stuff. If “progressive” music happens to be prog, then no problem, but prog without “progressive” is being absolutely tossed away … And finally, as far as our style is concerned, I’ve not vowed to any holy bible of death, doom, or whatever else, to be trve. I don’t give a damn about the trve attitude. “I shit upon the grave of every “trve”. I want to see if they’ll still gonna play music when they reach my age or if their daddy will have found them a job while their girlfriend would make them cut music completely off their lives”. I am who I am, 24-7; I’m as such in my real life, and as such I go up to play on stage. No corpse paint, no mascara in my eyes, no shinny armor or pretending to be evil on stage, and after all that evilness… hit my card at the office Monday morning wearing a tuxedo, and a tie…and then making public relations via FaceBook while pretending to be a misanthrope when still living at my parents’ house. I play music because I like it and I’ll play what I like without respecting any rule of this fucking-scene; the only limit is our imagination and our musical abilities.
I notice persistence with number 3. Your name has three words, your titles have three key words, you have three songs on each album, and you started as a trio … Will the next album be your last?
Tasos: I don’t know if it will be the last, but certainly will be “the third and longest!”(figur).
I know that some of your members are still, or were, involved in other bands (Infidel, Negative Creeps …). So the question is more about John; What is going on withInfidel;
Tasos: We’ve a history and have gained our credits here and there, but I firmly believe that DreamLongDead was the inevitable carpal of our destiny.
Giannis: Infidel has disbanded. We’ve had a lot of fun and I lovedall the albums we have released, since I think we had an interesting approach to metal music, especially in the “King of Cynical Control”. Due to each member’s obligations, it seemed that the band hasrun its course, so we decided to put an end to it. After all, we are all very good friends and we get together very often, so everything’s fine.
What should we expect from DreamLongDead in the near future?
Tasos: Don’t expect anything. Neither do we. Expectations can only cause frustration.
Thanks for the answers and good luck guys! Close the interview as you want.
Tasos: We thank you. Take care. DEATH to all “Aillinarades”, and to all fascist-Christian householders.